Community leaders and residents from parts of Southwest and Southeast Washington met with city housing administration officials yesterday and said that, while improvements had been made, the city's public housing still is in bad shape.
Outside, the temperature was in the high eighties, but inside the meeting room at the King-Greenleaf Recreation Center at 201 N St. SW, three radiators were operating at full strength.
"I guess this is a reflection of general housing conditions in the city," said Gottlieb Simon, executive director of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2-D in Ward 2, which includes much of downtown Washington and some of near Southeast and Southwest.
While tenants fanned themselves and sat on rickety metal chairs, James E. Clay, director of the city's Department of Housing and Community Development, and Sidney Glee, administrator of the department's Property Management Administration, heard complaints from W. Lloyd Reeves, vice-chairman of ANC 2-D, and from representatives of the tenants' councils for the Greenleaf, James Creek and Arthur Capper public housing projects, among others.
After a two-hour session in which rat infestation, trash accumulation, lack of water, basement flooding, collapsing roofs and other problems were discussed, tenants said that the city has made some progress since last year, but not enough.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the progress a 2," said Honorah Clark, vice-president of the Greenleaf tenants' council.
DHCD director Ray promised that city contractors will finish work on the projects' heating and plumbing by the end of the summer. But many tenants complained that the repair work--after many delays--is being done hastily and is generating its own set of problems: leaks, broken walls and lack of water in some areas.